Two years ago Victoria Ward, principle of Merchants’ (a Dimension Data company) CSI programme, saw an opportunity to take the company’s CSI initiatives to a new level. Instead of simply sponsoring a charity or initiative she got their hands dirty with an NGO called Columba Leadership. Together they have helped shaped the future of over 700 young South Africans.
The programme instated by Ward and Columba aims to give the youth better futures through employment opportunities, “When it comes to community spirit, we are committed to active engagement to enable effective youth development and empowerment through youth employment,” says Ward.
“Research shows that if first-time workers are permanently employed for a full year,” she continues, “they have a better chance of sustained employment and enhanced career opportunities”.
“We are committed to finding creative solutions that bridge the wider issues of sustainable business through youth employment and development,” she says, “by working in partnership with Columba Leadership we have been able to connect with the youth of South Africa and have a clearer view of the challenges faced by a young workforce, and an invaluable insight into the design of HR incentives, policies and procedures”.
The work being done not only empowers the participants by increasing their self-confidence but also enables relationship building and a change in perception about their futures and others.
Active in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Western and Eastern Capes, Columba and Merchants are making a tangible difference across South Africa.
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This is Victoria Ward and Columba Leadership’s story of help.
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